Other States

Journalist detained in Aligarh, called “terrorist”

Shaheen Abdullah, who was covering protest against CAA, was released after four hours

Aligarh Police detained a young video journalist who was covering the protest against the Citizen (Amendment) Act in the Shahjamal area of the city on Thursday.

Shaheen Abdullah is a student of mass communication at Jamia Millia Islamia and works with Maktoob Media. He was released after around four hours. “When I was covering the protest, some policemen asked me to come with them to the police station. I showed them my Press card, but they didn’t acknowledge it and repeatedly called me an antankavadi [terrorist].”

At the police station, Mr. Abdullah told The Hindu, they took away his diary, laptop, and phone. “When I told them I was from Jamia, they described it as atankavadiyon ki university (university of terrorists) and asked me why I was humiliating the police through my work.”

Later, he said, some senior officers came and tried to play the “good cop.” “They said they were just verifying my credentials. When I said, it could have been done at the protest site, they digressed and kept delaying my release.” He said his SD card, which has some crucial recording, was still with the police. “They have promised to return it later in the night.”

Mr. Abdullah is the same journalist who was beaten by the Delhi Police near Jamia Milia Islamia and was saved by some girls. “Now I have experienced both the Delhi and the Uttar Pradesh Police. There is not much of a difference.”

Abhishek, Superintendent of Police, Aligarh said Mr. Abdullha was taken into preventive detention for indulging in suspicious activity. “He was present at the protest site with some outsiders. As there were chances at that time of the protest turning violent, he along with three other people were taken into preventive detention.”

Mr. Abhishek said the permission for the protest was only for Tuesday and Wednesday. “But when the women turned up on Thursday as well with some men, police tried to stop them. They wanted to take out a march in the city. During this process, the presence of outsiders, including one from Kerala, was seen as suspicious. We wanted to ask him how he got the information of a random protest beforehand.”

Mr Abdullah is a Malayali and is not conversant in Hindi.

Locals alleged that the police tried to use his detention as a tactic to end the protest. Maryam Akeel, a young girl who went to the Delhi Gate police station to see Mr. Abdullah, said she and her friends were told that they should give up their protest if they wanted him to be released. “We were asked to submit our address and phone number. We are scared. Can’t we peacefully protest in this country,” she asked. “We are here to save the Constitution.”

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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 6:27:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/journalist-detained-in-aligarh-called-terrorist/article30638350.ece

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